Hope Solo says she entered therapy during 30-day suspension from USWNT

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Hope Solo entered therapy for the first time to deal with “pain and anger” issues during her U.S. Soccer-imposed 30-day suspension last month, the U.S. women’s national team goalkeeper revealed this week in a blog post on HopeSolo.com.

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Solo, writing her first post on her official website, also says she apologized to each of her USWNT teammates prior to her suspension; that her apology was accepted by the majority, if not all, of the team; and proclaimed that “We’re going to win this World Cup” in an email to the entire team.

The following excerpts, from HopeSolo.com, are particularly noteworthy:

During my month away from the national team, I had a lot of time to think, and to reassess my life and career. I also learned a lot about myself. I wanted a place to continue that process and share my experiences with you – about our team, my teammates and our quest to win the World Cup this summer.

At the end of January, before I left Southern California for the start of my 30-day suspension, I’d met with everyone on the team. For the first time, I’d opened up to my teammates about everything I’d been going through. I talked about how hard it had been going through the court case with my family, and explained why I hadn’t been that approachable at camp. I’d been trying to focus while I was on the field, but I’d been a mess emotionally and mentally, and spent most nights crying with my roommate away from the team. After I was done speaking with everyone, one of my teammates gave me the biggest hug and said, “Hope, apology accepted.” That meant so much.

So a few days before heading to Portugal, I’d sent an e-mail to all of my teammates. I let them know what I had been doing in the time I’d been away. I told them that for the first time in my life, I’d been seeing a therapist and dealing with a lot of my issues, and finally addressing all the pain and anger that was inside of me. Twice a week, I also worked with an Eastern medicine healer in Seattle who had incredible experience helping some of the greatest athletes perform at the highest levels. He really helped me see things in a different light. I wanted them to know that I hadn’t just taken 30 days off. Ultimately, I wanted to be a better person and teammate, and that’s what I’d been focused on.

It sounds, at least through the blog-post medium, as if Solo has made a fair amount of progress through therapy and reconciling relationships with teammates. To hear of Solo owning up to her actions, taking full responsibility and actively taking the steps to improve herself as a person is an incredibly promising development for the USWNT, which will rely so heavily on the 33-year-old ‘keeper this summer.

Despite winning this month’s Algarve Cup in Portugal, the USWNT has struggled to their successes — and failures — in recent years, leading to a coaching last spring and plenty of speculation that current head coach Jill Ellis will be gone if the Americans don’t lift the Cup this summer.

Now, with arguably the world’s best goalkeeper back in net — and potentially a better place, personally — this summer’s team’s focus must shift solely to winning the World Cup for the first time since 1999.